Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary
















August 4, 2015


Go, Look: Simon Gane Sketches Syros

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posted 1:40 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News

By Tom Spurgeon

image* Marvel's going to try again with their Hercules character. There's some speculation as to whether or not the character will have same-sex relationships. As I think he's depicted having relationships with men and women, it would be weird if he were suddenly fully hetero again.

* speaking of Marvel, they'll still have their policy of making more than 12 issues of their series in a year. They run a multi-million dollar publishing company and I don't, and I'm not even a prime consumer of that kind of material, but this strategy makes it difficult for me to read any issues at all. Almost no artist or art team can keep up, which means breaks in continuity. While an attentive can deal with different creative teams, given the fluidity of title it totally throws me off and I give up trying to buy the title I was previously buying. I also found that the cost of keeping up with one or series when I was expected to buy, say, 31 issues in a year as opposed to 24, made a difference in whether or not I desired to continue with series that made enough of an impression that the art teams hadn't confused me. That really seems like one of those slow beed for series of short-term gain kind strategies. Then again, if the numbers weren't working out in some way, they wouldn't be doing it. At that point moving away from that strategy becomes a "greater good" deal, and Marvel's publishing division is judged, many professionals tell me, by short-term numbers.

* congratulations to Yeti Press on four years of publication.

* Amazon.com listings can be fool's gold so much changes for most of the publisher, particularly those Fantagraphics-sized and smaller, between when a listing might be submitted and when it might actually find its way onto shelves. But it's a fine place to go for general reminders and some additional information if you don't take it as gospel. For instance, a May release for the Lucy Knisley wedding planning book makes perfect sense, and 304 pages sounds like a lot for Knisley and not so many for the general subject matter. Also, every March or so for the last several I've had a friend ask me what Dave Sim's Last Girlfriend is, and then when I tell them almost all make the same comment of "summer reading for me for sure. Looks like we'll get at least one more round of comments there.

* finally, Tom Hart alerted us through e-mail a couple of weeks ago that his Rosalie Lightning is going to be released by St. Martin's in January. It always seems like there's one book that comes out at that point of the year that dominates discussion through May or so, or at least contributes heavily to what we talk about when we talk about comics. I think there's an impulse from a very now-looking hardcore readership base that wants to jump into the new year. That could be the one for 2016, although every month is loaded now.
 
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Beautiful Big Little Book Cover Gallery

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Forthcoming Comics-Related Events, Through September 2015

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*****

August 6
* If I Were In Tampa, I'd Go To This

August 7
* If I Were In San Antonio, I'd Go To This (Texas Comicon)
* If I Were In Cambridge, I'd Go To This

August 8
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Autoptic)
* If I Were In San Antonio, I'd Go To This (Texas Comicon)
* If I Were In Dover, I'd Go To This (Dover Comic Con)
* If I Were In Seattle, I'd Go To This

August 9
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Autoptic)
* If I Were In San Antonio, I'd Go To This (Texas Comicon)

August 14
* If I Were In Connecticut, I'd Go To This (Connecticut ComicCONN)
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

August 15
* If I Were In Connecticut, I'd Go To This (Connecticut ComicCONN)
* If I Were In Dublin, I'd Go To This (Dublin Zine Fair)

August 16
* If I Were In Connecticut, I'd Go To This (Connecticut ComicCONN)
* If I Were In Dublin, I'd Go To This (Dublin Zine Fair)

August 22
* If I Were In Chicago, I'd Go To This

August 28
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)

August 29
* If I Were In Auckland, I'd Go To This (Auckland Zine Fest)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)

August 30
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)

*****

September 3
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Canada)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (AAEC Annual Convention)
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This

September 4
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Canada)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Meta Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (AAEC Annual Convention)

September 5
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This (Helsinki Comics Festival)
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Canada)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Meta Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (AAEC Annual Convention)
* If I Were In Birmingham, I'd Go To This (ICE)

September 6
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)
* If I Were In Helsinki, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Toronto, I'd Go To This (Fan Expo Canada)
* If I Were In Minneapolis, I'd Go To This (Meta Con)
* If I Were In Columbus, I'd Go To This (AAEC Annual Convention)
* If I Were In San Francisco, I'd Go To This (SF Zine Fest)

September 7
* If I Were In Atlanta, I'd Go To This (Dragon Con)

September 10
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (HawaiiCon)

September 11
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (HawaiiCon)

September 12
* If I Were Near Long Beach, I'd Go To This (Long Beach Comic Con)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (HawaiiCon)

September 13
* If I Were Near Long Beach, I'd Go To This (Long Beach Comic Con)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (HawaiiCon)

September 14
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Events)

September 15
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Events)

September 16
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Events)

September 17
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Events)

September 18
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This (Cincinnati Comic Expo)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Events)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (The Amazing Hawaii Comic Con)
* If I Were In Palermo, I'd Go To This (Palermo Comic Convention)

September 19
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City)
* If I Were Near Bethesda, I'd Go To This (SPX)
* If I Were In Brisbane, I'd Go To This (Oz Comic Con)
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This (Cincinnati Comic Expo)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Events)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (The Amazing Hawaii Comic Con)
* If I Were In NYC, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Palermo, I'd Go To This (Palermo Comic Convention)

September 20
* If I Were In Portland, I'd Go To This (Rose City)
* If I Were Near Bethesda, I'd Go To This (SPX)
* If I Were In Brisbane, I'd Go To This (Oz Comic Con)
* If I Were In Cincinnati, I'd Go To This (Cincinnati Comic Expo)
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival)
* If I Were In Hawaii, I'd Go To This (The Amazing Hawaii Comic Con)
* If I Were In Palermo, I'd Go To This (Palermo Comic Convention)

September 21
* If I Were In Brooklyn, I'd Go To This (Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Events)

September 23
* If I Were In Winston-Salem, I'd Go To This

September 24
* If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This (Salt Lake Comic Con)

September 25
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This (Salt Lake Comic Con)
* If I Were In Northampton, I'd Go To This (Topatocon)

September 26
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Salt Lake City, I'd Go To This (Salt Lake Comic Con)
* If I Were In Sydney, I'd Go To This (Oz Comic Con)
* If I Were In Northampton, I'd Go To This (Topatocon)
* If I Were In Houston, I'd Go To This
* If I Were In Greensboro, I'd Go To This

September 27
* If I Were In Baltimore, I'd Go To This (Baltimore Comic-Con)
* If I Were In Sydney, I'd Go To This (Oz Comic Con)
* If I Were In Northampton, I'd Go To This (Topatocon)

*****

Events For September 2015 Onward Listed Here

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*****
*****
 
posted 1:15 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Rare Jack Kirby Comedy Gig In Mid-1950s

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warning: festooned with racist imagery
 
posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Random Comics News Story Round-Up

image* Sean Kleefeld writes about missing out on Mike Parobeck. Comics is a lot bigger than we think it is. I thought I knew everything in 1994. I realize in 2015 that I know very little. It's one of the things that's most exciting about making room in your life for comics.

* Bob Temuka remembers the era of handbooks and guides.

* Todd Klein on Superman #41. John Kane on a bunch of comics and a bunch of other comics. Henry Chamberlain on Steve McQueen: Full Throttle Cool. Johanna Draper Carlson on The Baby-Sitters Club: The Truth About Stacey. Michael Buntag on Archie Vs. Predator #3-4. J. Caleb Mozzocco on a bunch of different comics. James Baon on A Sailor's Story. Misti Cooper on Knight. Andy Oliver on Like A Shark In A Swimming Pool.

* Sean T. Collins talks to Matt Furie. RJ Casey profiles Dan Zettwoch.

* finally, Katie Skelly draws Valentina.
 
posted 1:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 39th Birthday, K. Thor Jensen!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 65th Birthday, Mike Gold!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 63rd Birthday, Franco Saudelli!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 73rd Birthday, Rick Norwood!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 49th Birthday, Charlie Adlard!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 48th Birthday, Robert Pope!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
August 3, 2015


Go, Look: Beautiful Jack Davis Splash Pages

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posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Festivals Extra: APE Puts Call Out For Panel Proposals

Here. APE is going through a big transitional year, so if you're attending or thinking about attending, they would likely love to work with you. I think that show will be very well-attended back out in San Jose.
 
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Strength Of Man Portfolio Images

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posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Ted Rall Has Police Tape Enhanced, Makes Counter-Charges Against LAPD And LA Times

Ted Rall and the media site aNewDomain have continued to press Rall's case against justifications used by the LA Times in deciding to no longer use him as a freelancer. The latest is an enhanced version of a tape provided by the LAPD to the Times, which reveals some dialogue between the cop and an on-looker. I want to make sure that this gets linked to, considering I wrote an article about the back and forth up to the moment at a previous moment, here.

I am going to assume that a lot of articles of similar length and focus will appear at aNewDomain, the majority by Rall. If you want to keep up on the back and forth as it happens, that's probably the place where the most content is going to be generated. I will continue to track and look in on how the story gets reported both there and outside of these very specific channels.

This has already reached a staggering level of directed language and loaded description. A significant chunk of what we have to think thorugh is in the form of an Internet Argument. It might be a full time job for someone to pull everything out and examine it. Did this person really say that, can we trace this claim back to an actual statement, and so on.

When you apply vastly different concepts to the same things, it's hard to have an argument at all, let alone suss out the truth from one side or the other. I don't think losing a freelance gig is the same as losing a position, I think vastly different standards apply. so it would be nice if one set of descriptives were used. I'm not sure why the LA Times didn't punish, criticize or suspend Rall's editors (the primary Times front line here) if they feel a disservice to the truth was done. If the Times is to be damned for seeming to back a version of events that can be picked at, Rall can be held to that same standard. I'm not sure who comes off better were that the case. I'm also not certain why the Times' perceived potential conflict of interest due to its relationship with the LAPD is a more effectively dismissive accusation of bias than a guy arguing directly on his own behalf. The Times may feel the influence of the LAPD, but not more than Ted Rall is pro Ted Rall.

In the end I think the Times looks like less than a major player for using a guy until they're criticized and then showing him the door. They look like boobs if they didn't enhance the tape. It could be they decided it didn't matter. I also think that some of Rall's claims look more like a chat room jeremiad than a rational refutation of the broader facts in question. Freelance relationships are tough, they count on the editor trusting the freelancer, and I don't think that was happening here and thus both sides are better off walking away from one another. Ironically, the furious way in which Rall has gone after his former client may say more about his desirability as a freelancer than anything the police department has claimed.
 
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
OTBP: Terror House

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posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Another Comeback For National Lampoon

Hollywood Reporter has a piece up on the latest comeback for National Lampoon, which looks in theory like the last few times I've read feature articles on the company: leveraging their brand names and finding some sort of approximation of the process that got them properties in the first place, only favoring 21st century delivery systems. A magazine is way, way, off the table. I always thought they could do well with a magazine, just because it'd take almost no money to run one and I'm not sure that on-line content and YouTube videos provide the same kind of fully realized ideas that gave the Lampoon concepts like Animal House.
 
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Not Comics: Mary Blair's Peter Pan Concept Art

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via
 
posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Go, Look: Cave-Man Curly

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posted 1:10 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 49th Birthday, Marc Weidenbaum!

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this is my fault, but it made me laugh; happy birthday, Marc
 
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 61st Birthday, Gianfranco Goria!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
Happy 66th Birthday, Reed Waller!

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posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
August 2, 2015


Go, Look: Liz Anna Kozik

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posted 11:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
If I Were In Tampa, I'd Go To This

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posted 1:20 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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